Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Borg

I'm reading the Marcus Borg book, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time. I haven't read any reviews of this book, nor have I seen/read any blog posts about it. But here's a wild guess: I'd bet this author gets death threats. At minimum, I'd guess his name is dragged through the mud in certain circles. He tries to summarize biblical scholarship... and frankly, I think it is an awesome read. I can't put it down. I highly recommend it-- though it has been out for a couple years, so I'd guess (once again) I'm the last guy on the block to read it.

More later...

Monday, January 24, 2005

Whoa, someone is READING this stuff!

Great thoughts, thanks for the comments about my earlier post.

I agree that there are bigger fish in life. Here's my take:

I consider a huge part of my daily walk with Christ to entail learning to appreciate, love and show compassion for others. All others. Some are harder to truly love than others... I have known many homosexuals who don't feel loved by many Christians. In fact, they don't feel welcome at all in most churches. What they feel is hatred. I'm not on a personal mission about this, just stating what I believe to be the truth.

I want people to reach out to the poor and show them compassion, but I also want people to show compassion for gays and lesbians too. It doesn't really matter whether they learned the behavior, whether it is an acquired biological condition, or whether it is genetically determined. It just doesn't matter. My job isn't to judge, my job is to love. Christ covered the gamut when He included "enemies" in that list. There are no exceptions. That's it, that's my take. I get a bit testy when I hear people pontificate about this issue from a perspective that justifies prejudice. That's all. How they came to be who they are doesn't concern me.

I hear people saying "I don't hate them, just don't want them to be my pastor." All I can say is that I hope we all continue really opening our hearts before God, being honest with Him-- He's the only one who counts. I suspect that for many of us, there are definitely people who we don't "hate," but toward whom we struggle to muster anything vaguely approaching the term "love." It is definitely true for me. In fact, I'm downright mean when it comes to one group that I've blogged about recently (today): people who are intolerant of others.

O.k., that's enough. I'm not on a mission about this, I promise. I'm still on the same theme in my journey. It is truly about seeing Christ in others, not judging... about building bridges not walls.

I know that we all come from different backgrounds, and I frequently say (and believe) "There but for the grace of God go I." That is, I realize that really wonderful, kind-hearted people who hunger and thirst for God's love and compassion, who seek to do His will, are in different places along the journey. I have SOOOOOOOO far to go, I'm the last guy who ought to be casting stones. I blogged a few weeks ago asking how Methodists could ignore the poor-- the obvious answer came to me within 10 minutes of posting: I should know the answer, because of course until very recently, I was one of those who ignored them (in terms of actual behaviors).

I love the Bible, and I appreciate more each day what a beautiful guide it is for living. I used to see it as comfort food for the soul (chicken soup?). It is becoming more of a challenge for me. Not a depressing, negative challenge... but a wonderful challenge to continually strive to become more engaged, to follow the past the Christ established for us. Have a great day.